I love cranberries, and frankly, I have every reason to. Aside from their diverse culinary implementations, cranberries are, in my humble opinion, a super food. Charged with antioxidants and nutrients, cranberries aren’t only for the holiday table.
Some nutritional benefits of cranberries
This deep crimson and tart autumn fruit is packed with healthy phenolic acid, an antioxidant that keeps bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract, helping to prevent the dreaded UTI. These protective effects also serve to benefit men, as it helps protect the prostate as well.
And studies have shown that cranberries may help prevent colon cancer by calming inflammation. Being well endowed with dietary fiber and vitamin C also makes cranberries even more festive than the season would suggest. All this vitamin C contributes to the health of the heart, our lifeline, as one study found that young adults with higher plasma vitamin C also had lower blood pressure.
Cranberries also lend themselves to many culinary combinations, which make them easy to get into your body!
Compare and contrast fresh vs. frozen cranberries
Fresh Cranberries: They’re available from September to November are perfect for baking and sauce-making, but I prefer to blend them into a juice. The process of making fresh cranberry juice is little involved, but completely worth it.
Here’s a quick recipe: add 4 cups of fresh cranberries to a lemon juice and water mixture. Blend on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until a thick liquid is achieved, and all the solid chunks have disappeared.
Place the lidded blender container in the refrigerator and allow it to seep together overnight. Remove the container in the morning to find the liquids separated, and strain the cranberry juice through a fine mesh strainer into a medium saucepan. Discard any solid material, and you’ll have a fresh tart cranberry juice!
Frozen Cranberries: These will be available year round. So when the fresh variety is out of season, frozen cranberries are a perfect and equally nutritious option. They’re perfect in a holiday smoothie!
Here’s a quick recipe: blend 1 ½ cup frozen berries, ¾ cup vanilla almond milk, 1 cup water, ½ tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp honey and 1 tbsp Greek yogurt until smooth. Enjoy your very festive and heart-healthy winter smoothie!
There are plenty of ways to utilize this wonderful autumn berry – whether frozen or fresh – so you can enjoy the benefits of cranberries year round!